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Photoshop is one of the world’s most powerful image editors, and it can be daunting to try to use skillfully. Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced, the second part of the popular and comprehensive series, follows internationally renowned Photoshop guru Deke McClelland as he dives into the workings of Photoshop. He explores such digital-age wonders as the Levels and Curves commands, edge-detection filters, advanced compositing techniques, vector-based text, the Liquify filter, and Camera Raw. Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details, smoothing over wrinkles and imperfections, and enhancing colors without harming the original image. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisite: Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts and color settings for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.
All right friends, I have some more photographs of Megan Anderson and there are four images in all. Now, they are not going to be all in nice, tidy order like mine because I have manually sorted mine, but the first one is called Boyfriend's truck.dng. Go ahead and select them all because here is the point. I'm going to show you how to automatically correct the exposure of multiple images in totally different ways all simultaneously and you can decide if it's something you want to do or not. So I have selected all of these images. We are going to open them on up here inside of the beloved Camera Raw and then we are going to press Ctrl+A or Command+A on the Mac in order to select all the images.
Now notice, the second I select them all, they all seem to have the same Temperature and Tint settings. So that's entertaining. But anywhere we are not seeing values, then everybody is different or at least one image is different. Now I believe it's just the checker image. If I were to Ctrl+Click or Command+Click on that image, that's the only image that has Custom, Exposure values right now. Anyway, let's go ahead and Click on it again in order to select it and then I want you to see that we have got Auto and Default. So Default will reset everybody to the default Exposure settings, across the board, all six options here and Auto will go ahead and automatically try to figure out what the best settings are and basically it's analogous to what's going on with the Auto Color command inside of Photoshop except more brilliant still.
So it is intelligent enough to examine the Luminance data in every image independently. So if I Click on Auto, notice that all the values are still different and that's telling us right there that it's finessing each image with loving, tender care giving them the attention that it thinks they need. So I'm going to go to Boyfriend's truck for a moment so we can see what's happened with that, and if you ask me, this image is too bright. Camera Raw hasn't done such a wicked cool job on this image. But it's a jumping off point to be sure. What I'm going to do is I'm going to go ahead and take this Brightness value down a couple of Clicks to 50 and I'm working in even values here just to make my values easier to track for you because I don't normally sit here and make sure that every value is divisible by 10 or something. And then, I'll take the Blacks value up to 2, but that does give me a lot of clipped highlights. But still I want some nice rich blacks in there and I'm also going to take the Fill Light value up a little bit, I think to about 5 like so.
Recovery, I don't think we need much in a way of recovery inside of this image. So I'm going to take that value down to 0 and then I'm going to take the Exposure value down to -0.35 and the Contrast is pretty vigorous inside of this image. I'll try 25 and see if that's better. But actually you know what; really a big Contrast value suits this image pretty nicely. But this is pretty different than what Camera Raw came up with, we have quite a bit of black clipping over here but that doesn't bother me as I say and then I have got just a little bit of white clipping again, the highlights look in good shape to me.
We have got some specular highlights right there in the headlight. So that may be where those colors are hanging out. Now let's check out the next image, this one right there. Did I just modify value, because it just pressed the Down Arrow key? Oh yup, Contrast they took it down to 34. My first thing to Down Arrow key to see if I could advance to this image, but it didn't quite work. Now this one, I can switch back and forth here, these were the Default Exposure settings, which were pretty bright, and this is Auto, which does look better to me. I'll just accept that one. Let's come down here and see this laughing image of Megan, enjoying the train and I think the idea is that she is getting her hair blown all over the place.
I'm going to go ahead and Click on Default and that's a little brighter. Actually, I like the Auto settings better here too. Okay, now let's go back to this version of Megan and I'm not so sure if I like these settings or not and I want to be able to compare them to the manual settings that I have applied. Actually I'm looking at this and I don't like the fact that her dress is so very, very black. We are not seeing the details that I have brought out of it. And the image is just overly dark in general. So how do I bring back my last settings? Well, I can't go down here and Alt+Click on Reset or Option+Click on Reset because if I do that, I wipe out all of my other changes as well and I don't want that, I'm happy with three out of four of the images at this point. So I would say no, don't, no don't do that. Instead what you do is you go up to this little icon right there, which brings up a menu, and you choose this, Image Settings.
Images Settings will take the selected image back to the last saved settings, back to the settings that were enforced when you originally opened the image in Camera Raw. Now when I say originally opened the image in Camera Raw, I mean just a few minutes ago inside of this exercise. So it's going to go back to those saved settings that I had saved in the previous couple of exercises. So I'll go ahead and choose Image Settings and she brightens up the way I last left her and I might think at this point, ha! I wondered what exactly was it doing to make the image so dark. Let's go ahead and check that out because a little bit darker than this might work out pretty well for us. So I'll Click on Auto again, it had a Brightness of 0, which is actually lighter than what I had. I had -15. Higher Contrast, okay that's interesting. About the same Blacks value actually. No Fill Light whatsoever, I had ten. The Recovery is a lower value and the Exposure is way lower, look at that.
So Camera Raw is leaving a lot of the highlights undiscovered right there, just leaving them open. So could do that. So let's go ahead and maybe split the difference by choosing Image Settings to bring back the ones that we know we like and then let's just take Exposure down, maybe down to -0.3 and see how that works. I pressed Shift+Down Arrow by the way to achieve that modification. That looks pretty good I have to say. Let's try a higher Contrast value by raising this to +30. All right, so you know me and Camera Raw working together. I have some ideas about how I want to correct this image, Camera Raw has its own set of ideas.
Possibly we can work together on this one. Once we are done, I want you to do the usual and Click on that Done button. So that gives you a sense of how to work with the automatic Exposure controls there inside of Camera Raw. In the next exercise, I'm going to introduce you to the clipping warnings, stick with me.
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